Sarwan told to get in shape
West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan has been told to get in shape by the national selectors after failing to earn a central contract for the coming year. Sarwan, pace bowler Jerome Taylor and wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin were the most notable absentees from the list of 15 players handed the retainers. “The team management, the selection committee and the West Indies Cricket Board are concerned about Mr Sarwan’s extremely indifferent attitude and sporadic approach towards fitness, particularly in recent years,” a statement released by the board said. Injuries have kept Sarwan out of Test action throughout this year. “Ramnaresh’s less than satisfactory and fluctuating fitness levels have directly contributed to multiple injuries thereby causing him to be unavailable for selection to the West Indies team,” the statement said. Chief selector Clyde Butts said that the absence of a contract did not have a direct impact on team selection. “He is a world-class batsman and our view is that had he been in better shape over the years he would have had even more runs,” Butts said.
France players urged to sing
New France coach Laurent Blanc passed the words of the French national anthem on to his players so they could sing La Marseillaise before their Euro 2012 qualifier against Belarus yesterday. Many French fans felt the players tarnished the country’s reputation when they refused to train during this year’s World Cup. Few French players usually sing the national anthem before their games and Blanc wants that to change. “It’s a quite sensitive issue here and I’ve personally prompted the players to sing La Marseillaise tomorrow,” Blanc told reporters on Thursday. “They perfectly know what I think. I’ve passed the lyrics on to them so I think they’ll be able to sing tomorrow,” he said. “Everybody is free to do what he wants but when you know La Marseillaise, you sing it.”
Cops hunt Cabanas shooter
Colombian police are searching for a Mexican fugitive wanted for the shooting in January of Paraguay soccer player Salvador Cabanas, a senior officer said on Thursday. Finding Jose Jorge “JJ” Balderas, whom a drugs lord captured in Mexico this week identified as the shooter, was a priority, Judicial Police chief Carlos Mena said. Cabanas, who had been set to go to the World Cup in South Africa with the Paraguay team in June, was shot in the head in a Mexico City bar, according to some reports during an argument over his form for local club America. The forward still has the bullet lodged in his brain and was moved from a Mexico City hospital after a month to a Buenos Aires clinic where he is now an out-patient.
Rat bite ruins Games bid
Indian shooter Sanjeev Rajput is blaming the sharp teeth of a rodent for robbing him of his shot at glory on home soil at next month’s Commonwealth Games. The 29-year-old was perceived as a medal prospect for the Oct. 3-Oct. 14 Delhi Games but lost out in the race for a place in India’s highly-competitive shooting squad following a poor performance at the June trial in Pune. “I was staying in the camp hostel in Pune where a rat bit me in the night,” Rajput said yesterday. “I did not take any chances and immediately visited the doctor. He gave me anti-rabies shots and soon I was running a high fever. I was just not at my best and shot 1155 and 1149, both of which were below-par. It brought down my averages,” the shooter said.